Frenchtown’s Bastille Day festivities on Saturday, July 16, will include a free performance of “An Evening with Gertrude Stein and The Lost Generation” at 6 p.m. in the former Two Buttons building at 62 Trenton Ave.
This show is a forerunner of future shows there by “a diverse array of musicians, performers, dancers and filmmakers who will be invited to perform or screen and discuss their work,” said Jill McDonnell, whose foundation is buying the building to transform it into ArtYard, “a performance and film venue with a 238-seat theater and state-of-the-art digital projection system.” The Lovin’ Oven restaurant will remain as a tenant.
“We are in the early stages of planning and designing the theater, but when we were approached to make space available for Raconteur Radio before we officially open our doors, it seemed like just the kind of inventive, original programming we intend to bring to Frenchtown, and we took it as a good omen, and happily agreed,” she said.
On July 16, Raconteur Radio will re-create Gertrude Stein’s famed Left Bank salon. Holding forth in the salon will be Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Isadora Duncan, Henri Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, and, of course, Gertrude Stein.
The show will be enhanced by theatrical lighting, period costuming, Golden Age radio equipment, extensive sound effects, and a selection of period Parisian ballads, including “La Vie en Rose” and “Sous le Ciel de Paris,” sung live by jazz vocalist Danielle Illario, who recently played the Blue Note. The cast will also include Jane Hardy, Laurence Mintz and Alex Dawson.
Although the show is free, reservations are strongly recommended; call The Book Garden at 908-996-2022. The event is sponsored by ArtYard, the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association and Opdyke Lumber.
Frenchtown’s 18th annual Bastille Day celebration begins at noon on July 16 and continues into the evening. It will include live music, great food, wonderful art, a fashion show, guided walking tours, and fun for the whole family.
Raconteur Radio stages theatrical presentations of vintage radio plays, classic works of literature, and pop-culture parodies for live audiences throughout the tri-state area.
Raconteur Radio productions have been called “family-friendly guerrilla theater” by the New York Times; one of “the seven best things to do in N.J.” by the Newark Star-Ledger; “Epic!” by Lev Grossman of Time Magazine; and “Utterly unique!” by Kyle Hartzell of National Public Radio.